Bullfighter Becomes Fierce Animal-Rights Defender

The following amazing picture of a bullfighter unable to continue is showing up all over the interne...

The following amazing picture of a bullfighter unable to continue is showing up all over the internet for the past several months. The picture is claimed to be of ex-bullfighter Alvaro Munera and was accompanied by his alleged quote:

And suddenly, I looked at the bull. He had this innocence that all animals have in their eyes, and he looked at me with this pleading.

It was like a cry for justice, deep down inside of me.

I describe it as being like a prayer - because if one confesses, it is hoped, that one is forgiven. I felt like the worst shit on earth.

Alvaro Munera is a real person, he was a bullfighter and eventually became a fierce animal-rights defender, after a bull confined him to a wheelchair for life. Munera was forced to give up bullfighting at the age of 18, so the picture is probably of another torero.

I will present you excerpts of a 2009 interview of Alvaro Munera, about his experience as a bullfighter and his life as an activist for the animal rights:
Did you ever think of quitting bullfighting before that bull confined you to a wheelchair?

"Yes, there were several critical moments. Once I killed a pregnant heifer and saw how the fetus was extracted from her womb. The scene was so terrible that I puked and started to cry. I wanted to quit right there but my manager gave me a pat on my back and said I shouldn’t worry, that I was going to be an important bullfighting figure and scenes like that were a normal thing to see in this profession. I’m sorry to say that I missed that first opportunity to stop. I was 14 and didn’t have enough common sense. Some time later, in an indoor fight, I had to stick my sword in five or six times to kill a bull. The poor animal, his entrails pouring out, still refused to die. He struggled with all his strength until the last breath. This caused a very strong impression on me, and yet again I decided it wasn’t the life for me. But my travel to Spain was already arranged, so I crossed the Atlantic. Then came the third chance, the definitive one. It was like God thought, 'If this guy doesn’t want to listen to reason, he’ll have to learn the hard way.' And of course I learned."

What was the decisive factor that made you an animal-rights defender?

"When I went to the US, where I had to face an antitaurine society that cannot conceive how another society can allow the torture and murder of animals. It was my fellow students, the doctors, nurses, the other physically disabled people, my friends, my North American girlfriend, and the aunt of one of my friends, who said I deserved what happened to me. Their arguments were so solid that I had to accept that it was me who was wrong and that the 99 percent of the human race who are firmly against this sad and cruel form of entertainment were totally right. Many times the whole of the society is not to blame for the decisions of their governments. Proof of this is that most people in Spain and Colombia are genuinely anti-bullfighting. Unfortunately there’s a minority of torturers in each government supporting these savage practices."

Is there a lot of regret that you let it get to the point where you became paralyzed?

"I think it was a beautiful experience because it made me a better human being. After convalescence and rehabilitation, I started working toward the goal of amending my crimes."

Chiquilín, another repentant bullfighter, claims to have seen bulls weeping. He says that he cannot kill even a fly nowadays.

"I take my hat off to that man. He’s a real hero who learned his lesson through reason and thinking."

If the people of both countries are against bullfighting, why do bullfights still exist?

"Well, I believe that bullfighting eventually will disappear if it doesn’t remove its elements of torture and death. There’s a generational shift in values, and most well-educated young people are against cruel traditions."

In your articles you’ve associated tauromachy with a lack of culture and sophistication on the part of its aficionados. Isn’t this a bit simplistic? How do you explain that intelligent people like Ernest Hemingway, Orson Welles, John Huston, and Pablo Picasso were into bullfighting?

"Look, to be a talented person doesn’t make you more human, more sensible, or more sensitive. There are lots of examples of murderers with a high IQ. But only those who have a sense of solidarity with other living beings are on their way to becoming better people. Those who consider the torture and death of an innocent animal a source of fun or inspiration are mean-spirited, despicable people. Never mind if they paint beautiful pictures, write wonderful books, or film great movies. A quill can be used to write with ink or blood, and many terrorists and drug dealers of the 21st century have university diplomas hanging on the wall. The virtues of the spirit, that’s what really counts in God’s eyes."

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  1. Great article, animals have souls too! No being should be tortured for entertainment whether it be a human or animal. I really like his response about intelligent people, it's very true. Just because a person has a high intellect doesn't make them spiritually mature.

  2. good stuff. I hate the dull use of bull fighting as a means of entertainment. Torture and bloodshed of an innocent animal for the amusement of people is just sick for a 21st century people.

    I only hope this cruel practice is finished once and for all. Put yourself in the bull position and see if you would enjoy that.

  3. This is what it means to wake up to who you really are, because when you do, you realise you're connected to every other living (and even non living) entity on this planet, and you have empathy, because that is your natural, unconditioned state. So well done, bullfighter, for having the balls to follow your heart and the courage to admit you were wrong.

  4. Strong words, excellent interview. It moved me.

  5. I hope all of you are vegetarians and don't wear anything made from animal hides, because if not you are all hipocrites and your words mean nothing as animals slaughtered for these purposes are kept in deplorable conditions, and if they do have souls and conscious thought I'm sure they would wish for the opportunity to die with a fighting chance as bulls have in bullfighting. You clearly don't understand the meaning of this event and haven't been to a bullfight. I don't know how they do it in south America, ''The poor animal, his entrails pouring out, still refused to die. He struggled with all his strength until the last breath'', in Spain the entrails don't come out because they go for the back. If this is not the case in south America and they go for the stomach then yes that is a cruel difference. And what he says about having to stab the bull 5 or 6 times, this meant he was not a good bullfighter. And nor do the supporters of this tradition want that and ask for the bull to be ''saved''. I don't think that this man would have given up his profession if he were not paralysed and now to turn his back on all he stood for because he lost the fight, that to me is a high form of disrespect to the bull that paralysed him. You can't put your hand in a mouse trap and then denounce all mousetraps when you hurt your fingers.

    1. Many of my readers are vegetarian or vegan, including myself. Personally, I don't want to "understand" this kind of events, nor am I interested to go and watch them.

      To kill an animal, especially in a ritual, is cruel and stupid. I understand that some people grew up going each Sunday to the corida (bullfighting arena), because it's their tradition, but I think the human species should be evolved enough to understand this is cruel, immoral and pointless. I refuse to believe that the spectators actually find pleasure watching the slaughter unfolding.

      It's sad to see people living their lives in such disturbing ways, then wondering why everything is so messed up around them. If we want to know bliss as a species, then we must stop the rivers of blood flowing all around the planet! That would be a good start...

    2. And how do you know your readers are vegans or vegetarians?

      The spectacle is not focused on the act of killing the animal, it's the steps leading up to it, the act of courage by letting an animal more than twice your size and three times your weight pass within inches of their bodies. It is not just the bull who dies or sustains injuries. I have seen a bullfighter who had lost an eye fighting again, there are cases where bulls have killed more than one man in an evening. It is not simply a slaughter, it is not a slaughterhouse, the bull has a chance to defend itself.

      If you think that this is a disturbing way to live your life then you are not aware of more grievous things in this world. A utopian world is a naive concept and there are things that are cruel in this world but bullfighting is not one of them. Turn your attention to ''correbous''.

    3. I know that many of my readers are vegetarian or vegan because I keep close contact with them. I see what they share on Facebook, I read their notes or their blogs, and finally I exchange emails with many of them.

      I'm honestly not interested in any kind of "spectacle" involving death. A slaughterhouse for animals and humans is not something people should be interested in.

      We have more serious and urgent challenges as a species! Instead watching animals being killed (and finding pleasure in it), I think we should focus our attention on the more important things taking place around us: like loosing more and more of our liberties because we are too distracted, or our children/brothers going to war in the Middle East, or the bankers stealing our money from under our noses, or the trillions/year spent on weapons while only $30 billion/year would eradicate hunger on Earth, etc.

      Bullfights are barbaric and we should have evolved beyond them by now!

    4. What is your point? what in the world are you trying to prove? the bull might have a chance to defend itself, but after it wins a fight against a Matador, it'll be continued to be placed in these horrific scenes, until it is killed. I do not think anyone sees that as "the bull having a chance to defend itself". the bull's death is imminent. Secondly, it is us humans who place ourselves in these situations, knowing that there is a full risk that we might loose an eye, or be killed. So if the matadors wanted to avoid that, then they should not be fighting bulls. The bulls in these bullfights are completely innocent, they just go by their instinct, and defend themselves however they can. It is an unfair, and masochistic slaughterhouse: if you have been to an actual bullfight, then you will know that the bull is first injured by spears before it faces the matador. They suffer a slow, painful, torturous death, and if you don't see that spectacle as a slaughterhouse, then it is people like you who keep this hellish tradition of bullfighting alive. Bullfighting is anything but an act of courage, what is courageous about an armed man taunting an innocent animal? And each of the steps leading to the bull's death, is extremely painful, and makes the bull bleed from the inside. Perhaps you should place yourself in the place of the bull, and realize your ignorance and stupidity. Last thing, what this matador did, is admirable, he could have continued his support for bullfighting, and continued supporting the other matadors in this spectacle. But he is doing the opposite, and spreading awareness regarding the cruelty of this by a matador, helps in a way to redeem himself. Notice, he is not cursing the bulls and wanting payback for loosing his ability to fight. Hahaha, you have never been to a bullfight, have you? there are cases where the bull's entrails will come out, that's what happens when you are constantly being stabbed, specially in cases where the bull is knocked down and such.


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